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FEWS NET World Food Programme

Informal cross border food trade in Southern Africa

May 2005


World Food Programme, Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)

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Highlights

  • Close to 500 MT of informal food imports into Zimbabwe recorded in the first month of informal trade monitoring at the Beitbridge border post.


  • Zambia maize exports significantly decline as export ban becomes effective.


  • Trade recorded in May rises to 15,000 MT as monitoring at the South Africa/Zimbabwe Beitbridge border takes off.
Informal Cross Border Food Trade Flow Overview - May 2005

Recorded informal cross border trade in DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Source: FEWS NET and WFP Malawi; TSC


By the end of May, close to 15,000 MT of trade in maize, rice and beans was captured by the informal cross border food trade monitoring initiative in Southern Africa. This represents a 15% rise in the trade over the amount captured in April. This increase can be partly explained by the additional monitoring that has been effected along the borders of Zambia and Mozambique (as reported last month), as well as along the Zimbabwe/ South Africa border (see photograph below). Overall, the volume of maize traded at 10,600 MT was 17% higher than last month; rice at 3,000 MT was 20% higher, but the bean trade at 1,200 MT declined 19% compared to April. The increase in maize trade in May was also to be expected as harvesting intensifies across the region.



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